May 13, 2013
NewsRescue– Top level sabotage and purposeful undermining of the JTF mission is behind the loss of military and civilian lives in combat with Boko Haram – several top level military and security sources have informed us.
Relating to the recent deadly incident in Bama, Tuesday, 7th of May, the two soldiers who died in the attacks were killed because they ran out of ammunition to fight back. They were basically “sitting ducks.” The “reinforcements” who came to help discharge the terrorists mounting an attack on the military barracks, were sent to simply bring in more ammunition.
“Our comrades died because they did not have any bullets. We took bullets to them!”
Earlier sources had described to NewsRescue that soldiers had to “bribe” the armory to get working guns and adequate bullets. The troops who died had a ration of only 30 rounds, as against the minimum 120 rounds for such duty.
On how the military effort to win the war against Boko Haram is being sabotaged from the top, our sources described what could be seen as a highest level military and governing resolve to allow the mission progress intractably towards eventual failure.
Missions against Boko Haram have been delayed without end, due to a lack of commitment to provide the necessary combat and personnel reinforcement. This is why the war with Boko Haram is one-sided, Boko’s side. For security reasons, we will not describe the exact missions, however we confidently assure our readers that the Military forces in Borno are in the defensive and have been unable to go in the offensive, to crush the insurgency.
Boko Haram has waged a full scale insurgent war against Nigeria. Their commandos are armed with sophisticated weapons and superior morale, launching determined campaigns to cause massive causalities and even brazen enough to launch attacks on military commands that they know are being purposefully depleted of weapons to fight back.
The equipment still used by the Nigerian military, it’s APC’s, Communication vehicles, etc. shockingly to note, were bought by the Shagari administration.
The JTF in Maiduguri through the Chief of defense(COD), Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, have been requesting for two battalions to complement the forces on the ground- to deal with the increasingly coordinated menace, but their pleas fall on the deaf ears of the Chief of Army Staff(CAS), General Azubuike Ihejirika.
Only 1 company – approximately an eighth of a battalion – is being added to the forces under the command. This is leaving the JTF completely unable to decisively counterattack and launch missions to seek out and crush the growing terrorist threat to the nation.
It has been noted that the CAS had wanted to head the Multiforce task force, but this was not possible. His reluctance to avail the necessary army combatants to enable a successful mission could to be related to this issue among other possible political motives. Meanwhile Nigerians are dying.
Still on the CAS, it will be recollected that during a growing kidnapping crises in Abia state, where he originates, the Nigerian army led a well equipped large, tactical crushing contingency to counter and destroy the growing threat, and this powerful, swift force, successfully captured the kingpins and incapacitated the threat.
The general praised such military adequate response and has since kept the army on ground to quell resurgences.
The operation at Abia was so well and swiftly conducted, it was even done with secrecy. Over 3000 troops recruited were not told what mission they were on. The troops were told they were going for rehearsals, and only en-route were they given live ammunition. The secrecy served the purpose of ensuring the attack was a complete surprise and the bandits were not able to escape. This is how successful missions are planned and conducted. The opposite is the story in Nigeria’s north.
As noted from the AllAfrica article: “Soldiers Declare War in Abia,” 172 suspects were killed and over 200 arrested while their hideouts were decimated in the fully organized military campaign launched by Gen. Ihejirika against the Southern terror threat.
But a similar response has been illusive in the North where Boko Haram terrorists camp and hide in the border region and safely drive in convoys to patiently decimate entire towns and return to their hideouts under impunity from an ill-equipped and unable army.
Sources within the army suspect a top level intent to allow the menace continue to destroy the region, with disregard for the lives of soldiers being put in harms way and civilians, otherwise it will be “impossible for Boko Haram to drive in, in such convoys and carry out their missions.” Members of the sect who have been captured and tortured always admit they have top level government sponsors, but even “with a knife to their neck,” say they can never reveal this information as it will “launch the country into total chaos.”
It will be recalled that the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Azazi had implicated Nigeria’s ruling PDP party as sponsors/behind the Boko Haram unrest. He was subsequently sacked and under suspicious circumstances, a helicopter he was traveling in blew up in southern skies.
The Nigerian military are currently being under-financed and as we can see, Niger Delta militant – terrorists have been granted several billions of naira to become the nations “security forces” in the Niger-delta region, the region the president hails from. Tompolo is paid N8.5 billion and Asari Dokubo has been reportedly awarded N1.6 billion. Arming militants-terrorists and recruiting them as “national security forces,” is a novel process in the modern world. And this happening when the military budget and army supplies is undermined makes it most serious.
These MEND terrorists recently killed 16 police officers on “their terrain,” with total impunity, and one of the group leaders, Mujahid Dokubo Asari, has of recent, openly in the nations capital, threatened chaos to the nation if the current president is not re-elected in 2015. This ethnic militia force can potentially threaten and challenge Nigeria’s sitting, broken military. This is very troubling and the reasons for this transfer of the defense capabilities of the nation to a terrorist agents and its future implications are reasonably scary.
“All these people see is politics, politics, politics. They are so blinded by politics, they see nothing else. They don’t care about lives.” An officer from Benue state explained in exasperation. “I have lost so many comrades… still the same politics.”
Meanwhile as noted in our article earlier last week, “Nigeria At War,” Boko Haram has successfully taken over several cities in Borno state, and yet a “state of emergency” has not been declared by the government with a concordant real effort to engage the rebellion. The lack of proper declaration precipitates in the loss of civilian and military lives in the north. In Tuesday’s attack, 200 armed terrorists invaded Bama at 4am, confidently driving several military-style pickup trucks and buses.
Nigeria’s opposition parties, the CPC and ACN yesterday dissuaded the government from initiating a state of emergency in the north eastern states. They are playing politics with lives. Though their accusation that the ruling PDP party and the government has purposefully created this state of terror bears merit, the time for politics is over. Security of Nigerian lives must be put first.
The Borno state governor has said that “Addressing Boko Haram is not my responsibility,” despite collecting a security vote in the billions of naira. The enigmatic and inscrutable nature of neglect leaves the people and the army in “God’s hands,” and foretells of serious consequences for Nigeria and the entire west African region.
This report is not in anyway intended to ethnicize the current conflict, however it is a report of an urgent call by Nigeria’s military commanders and troops, a multi-ethnic force that operates on military principles, largely out of the confines of ethnic relegation, for urgent equipping and reinforcing the military campaign in Nigeria’s north, to the capability to save the lives of personnel and civilians and determinately crush the Boko Haram menace. The military is not interested in politics. Survival is their primary instinct and they will do all that is necessary to survive if the government keeps playing games with their lives. There is more politics going on within the Military to be considered in future discussion.
An ill equipped force leads to more causalities, as soldiers are more likely to lose morale and break operational commands. The Baga incident can be related to the repercussion of having a “desperate,” and increasingly “frustrated,” force deal with a superior equipped and better motivated terrorist threat. The defensive nature of current operations enables battles to be fought at a delayed instance, within towns, rather than the Military to be on the offensive. Nigeria’s soldiers and citizens should not be carelessly put in harms way operating below marginal staff and ammunition requirements with a setup for failure and more deaths of innocents.
Borno is Nigeria’s second largest state. Spanning immense land mass, a total of 69,436 sq km. Securing this region is impossible without adequate troops and aerial support. The JTF operation in Borno is an 80% land operation. Hence it relies on and depends on the army, more than defense or any other department. This puts the responsibility to make it a success or failure, squarely on the shoulders of Lt. Gen. Ihejirika.
General Ihejirika recently said the army is being stretched by crises north and south. This is the very reason why our armed forces troops should be sent to Borno to complete the most important phase of the mission, before being sent back to positions where they are in reserve.
According to data gathered, Nigeria has troops on standby for its Sudanese mission. During the Mali recruitment, the Nigerian army diverted its Sudan standby troops to Mali and extended the stay of its contingency in Sudan.
It currently has troops on standby to Mali, 1200 troops. Indeed, with the war in Nigeria’s own backyard, it defeats logic why the Nations’ troops are in Mali doing police work, while an ineffective mission is being run in Borno, putting sparse troops and civilians’ lives in grave jeopardy.
Nigeria’s troops should be pulled back from Mali if indeed there is a shortage of troops, to put out the fire in the North east that will potentially destroy Nigeria. If there is a so-called shortage of troops, then the nation should be requesting international support.
General Buhari, a military conditioned ex president of Nigeria, in a recent speech, released statements supporting the NewsRescue assessment, that Nigeria was at war, – and Nigeria is not fighting back. The question being asked is, what are the president and the army generals waiting for? More deaths of civilians and soldiers? For Boko Haram to gain more ground? See: NewsRescue– Boko Haram: Nigeria Losing Borno
For the first time in Nigeria’s history, the CAS’ tenure was extended. This is presumably to enable him be in service till 2015, when the tenure of the Chief Of Defense, COD expires, and the president moves him to be the COD, as an invaluable re-election backbone.
The extent to which Nigeria’s government play politics with governing the nation, is saddening, because it is at the expense of life. Lives in Nigeria have absolutely no value, and lives of the nations serving members is also demonstrably as valueless as the lives of its citizens. Every one and every situation is dispensable for political gambles and drunkenness for power. Two barracks’ have been attacked and the CAS has yet to visit. There is falling morale and growing rancor in the military.